Slitting and kitting with Web Industries
Creel of slit carbon fiber at Web Industries.
When we think about carbon fiber being manufactured, we often imagine the wide, unidirectional, black fibers coming out of the high-temperature furnaces used to oxidize the fiber. And when we think about carbon fiber being used to fabricate large, complex aerospace structures, we imagine the narrow tapes or tows of carbon fiber being applied with automated fiber and tape placement machinery. It’s rare, I would suggest, that we consider the intermediate step of slitting the wide, continuous tape to make the narrow tows for automated placement.
Tape slitting, however, has been the daily job of Web Industries for many years. Indeed, Boeing and Airbus cannot make a single 787 or A350 XWB (respectively) unless Web Industries first does some slitting of prepreg tapes. CW Talks: The Composites Podcast recently checked in with Web Industries’ Manish Patel, senior application engineer, and Ashley Graeber, director of sales and business development, and talked about Web’s place in the market, aerospace supply and demand and the future of aerocomposites fabrication.
Patel and Graeber talk about their history and place within the company, Web’s recent expansion into material cutting and kitting service, and more. Check out the entire conversation at CW Talks: The Composites Podcast.
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A look at the process by which precursor becomes carbon fiber through a careful (and mostly proprietary) manipulation of temperature and tension.
Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) replacing coated steel in more reinforced-concrete applications.
Spirit AeroSystems actualizes Airbus’ intelligent design for the A350’s center fuselage and front wing spar in Kinston, N.C.